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The Exorcism
Last post Tue, Oct 23 2018 by Acclarion, 17 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Oct 14 2018 03:00
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473

My latest offering:  The Exorcism for Bass Clarinet, Piano, and String Quartet.  I'll let you decide whether or not you enjoy it :)

The Exorcism by David Carovillano - PLAY

Cheers!

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Mon, Oct 15 2018 16:22
by Jos Wylin
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Flanders, Belgium, Posts 579

Hi Dave,

Are you reaching out for Halloween?

A fantastic piece, with so much refined ambience. You mention the film noir and thriller, scary... All these emotions/feelings are eloquently present as if the composition was written with a well defined purpose in mind. But apart from the non-musical content, it shows again how masterfully you deal with sound shaping and instrumental techniques. The bass clarinet is simply outstanding and more than realistic both in sound and playing technique and it fits so well here in this context. But the strings (again with a number of exquisite effects) figure adequately in the role of ambience makers without losing any musicality. In one word: great!

I enjoyed (right choice of words here???) every single second of it!

Jos

http://www.joswyl.be
compositions and sampling exercises
Posted on Mon, Oct 15 2018 20:59
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473
Hi Jos,

Really happy to hear you enjoyed it. I suspect the vast majority that are open to listening to it will reject it as too dissonant, out there, etc. Luckily, there are always a few kind enough not to let a work go by completely unnoticed.

Cheers!
Dave
www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Oct 16 2018 00:11
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5405

Dave, that sounds excellent, and it has very imaginative orchestration.  

Posted on Tue, Oct 16 2018 12:10
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 109

Hi Dave,

An interesting piece, where I observed at least two fascinating moments that I'd like to mention:

1) You ended with brighter, lighter colors, they suggest (I suppose) that the act of exorcism was successful. That chord at 4:40, sounded like a revelation, I loved that moment. In this ending part, the darker tones are still present, but they increasingly give place for light. Shadow, penumbra, light. That's how I see it, anyway.

2) And that short moment at 2:07, a rather different mood just for a few seconds, different from everything else, that is soon taken over by the more troubled "main" theme. Maybe it's just my personal pecularities, and this was not meant to stand out.

On the subject of dissonance, I didn't think there was a lot of it. It was balanced, I'd say. And, actually, the same description matches the whole piece - it's well-balanced, never falls into "so evil" cliche.

And of course, the composition is top-notch. I enjoyed!

Cheers,

Crusoe.

Posted on Tue, Oct 16 2018 13:49
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473

Thanks, Bill.  I always value your expertise and feedback.  

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Oct 16 2018 14:02
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473

Originally Posted by: crusoe Go to Quoted Post

Hi Dave,

An interesting piece, where I observed at least two fascinating moments that I'd like to mention:

-Thank you, Crusoe!

1) You ended with brighter, lighter colors, they suggest (I suppose) that the act of exorcism was successful. That chord at 4:40, sounded like a revelation, I loved that moment. In this ending part, the darker tones are still present, but they increasingly give place for light. Shadow, penumbra, light. That's how I see it, anyway.

-Yes, you interpreted the chord and ending exactly as I envisioned it.  It's always nice when music alone can create imagery, and in this case, I'm glad we were able to find common meaning.

2) And that short moment at 2:07, a rather different mood just for a few seconds, different from everything else, that is soon taken over by the more troubled "main" theme. Maybe it's just my personal pecularities, and this was not meant to stand out.

-Actually, very astute observation!  I considered the bass clarinet in this moment, with the 16th-dotted 8th pattern (which is the essential rhythmic motif throughout the bass clarinet part) and the calm, ascending melody (against the descending piano) to be the "calm before the storm."  Also, in terms of the physicality and unpredictability of an actual exorcism, the person often has these brief moments of serenity before being overcome by the demon/spirit/whatever.  

On the subject of dissonance, I didn't think there was a lot of it. It was balanced, I'd say. And, actually, the same description matches the whole piece - it's well-balanced, never falls into "so evil" cliche.

-I do agree with you.  The thing is, though, I'm never sure how the general public/listeners on forums will respond to even some dissonance, as it does appear that the most popular pieces typically still are, or imitate very tonal music from the Baroque/Classical period as well as modern, lush Hollywood orchestral writing.  Obviously, a piece like this doesn't neatly fit in to either category and requires a little more open-minded approach to listening.

And of course, the composition is top-notch. I enjoyed!

-Thanks, Crusoe!  You really are a very critical, aware listener, and I actually love reading comments that put in to words some of the thoughts I have when writing...I'd not be able to write these things about my music, as the words don't come to me easily, so I appreciate you doing so :)

Cheers,

Crusoe.

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Oct 16 2018 14:53
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 109

Quote:
s the essential rhythmic motif throughout the bass clarinet part) and the calm, ascending melody (against the descending piano) to be the "calm before the storm."  Also, in terms of the physicality and unpredictability of an actual exorcism, the person often has these brief moments of serenity before being overcome by the demon/spirit/whatever.  

Oh, now I understand. I just had to visualize a bit more, then. Thanks for the explanation!

P.S. I do emjoy these converstations, too, by the way. Even though I might sound critical, it's not my intention, really. My intention is to share an understanding of a musical piece, whatever it might be, given music's abstract nature. And I guess this specific form is just the one that I've learned over the years. There was a time when I was writing a coupe of short reviews (non-professionally) almost every day, resulting in hundreds of reviews. A lot of people appreciated that (although not all), so I'm practicing it again now in a hope of producing the same positive reaction. 

Posted on Tue, Oct 16 2018 16:03
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473

Originally Posted by: crusoe Go to Quoted Post

Quote:
s the essential rhythmic motif throughout the bass clarinet part) and the calm, ascending melody (against the descending piano) to be the "calm before the storm."  Also, in terms of the physicality and unpredictability of an actual exorcism, the person often has these brief moments of serenity before being overcome by the demon/spirit/whatever.  

Oh, now I understand. I just had to visualize a bit more, then. Thanks for the explanation!

P.S. I do emjoy these converstations, too, by the way. Even though I might sound critical, it's not my intention, really. My intention is to share an understanding of a musical piece, whatever it might be, given music's abstract nature. And I guess this specific form is just the one that I've learned over the years. There was a time when I was writing a coupe of short reviews (non-professionally) almost every day, resulting in hundreds of reviews. A lot of people appreciated that (although not all), so I'm practicing it again now in a hope of producing the same positive reaction. 

Hey Crusoe,

You, William, Jos, Paul, and a host of others offer erudite commentary that is always welcome.  Engaging with those that enjoy and understand music, is a rewarding experience, especially in light of the abundance of passive listening (with virtually no feedback) that is the norm.  

This actually brings up a point that I've pondered lately.  As composers of more complex/abstract/non-mainstream music, we're often seeking an audience that not only will appreciate/enjoy the music, but be able to offer insight/critical commentary that gives us a sense that the music has purpose and meaning.  Unfortunately, the most educated/scholarly/knowledgeable often demonstrate their awareness through arrogant, critical commentary designed more to elevate themselves than to genuinely help the subject of their commentary.  It's always frustrated me how these scholarly types can be so dismissive of anything that's not in their personal interest, or to undermine anything that's not a recognized "masterpiece" of the classical literature...their agenda seems to be exclusively their own agrandisement at the expense of anyone that they believe is not at their level. When such individuals offer criticism, even if their points are valid, as they often are, the message is completely overshadowed by the way in which they communicate their ideas.  

To summarize:  you are not an individual like this.  You show a genuine interest and knowledge of music, and even through your criticisms, you don't talk down to others, or disparage/demean them in any way.  This kind of discourse should be welcome/encouraged.  Finally, I'm not surprised to hear you have written reviews/commentaries in the past; you're very good at articulating your thoughts.

Cheers!

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Oct 17 2018 15:40
by crusoe
Joined on Sat, Dec 26 2009, Posts 109

Quote:
.  It's always frustrated me how these scholarly types can be so dismissive of anything that's not in their personal interest, or to undermine anything that's not a recognized "masterpiece" of the classical literature...their agenda seems to be exclusively their own agrandisement at the expense of anyone that they believe is not at their level. When such individuals offer criticism, even if their points are valid, as they often are, the message is completely overshadowed by the way in which they communicate their ideas. 

This brings up some thoughts, I will write you a PM, if you don't mind.

Posted on Thu, Oct 18 2018 02:26
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

Hi Dave

got to listen to the whole thing. I thought it was rhythmically well balanced and orchestrally very interesting. The music was alive throughout, with unexpected color or harmonic changes, so it keeps the listener enganged all the time I could give more intelligent comments after listening to it a few times.

I also did not think this was dissonant, in the sense of 20th century music that started about 100 years or so. (on that note, check this from Charlese Ives written in 1915! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT2E13p3sLw). To me yours sounds tonal, but with some dissonances, which has been common even early as Beethoven (Grosse Fugue for e.g.,)

Speaking of dissonant/complex/abstract music, you may already be familiar with other 20th century works. The Ives piece is a good example, and there are tens of other famous composers, such as Dutilliex, and recently Salonen(I once attended this concert and the soundscape blew my mind away... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HZ8ovW-STk ... I feel so lucky to be in Boston!)

I wouldnt worry about passive listeners. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing and being productive, and also getting positive feedback from many here, who cares ? :) Just keep making music. If someone really likes it they WILL listen and maybe even contact you to commission works. 

Anyways who am I to give advice?...take these as some random thoughts from an amateur.

Best

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Thu, Oct 18 2018 12:11
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473
Hi Anand,

Nice to hear from you! Thanks for taking the time to listen and offer your spot-on comments. I definitely agree with you that dissonance is far more prevalent elsewhere, but my initial comments were simply to alert people to the fact that the piece isn't as easily digestible as some music posted here is. The funny thing is, one's perception of/reception to a piece of music begins with the totality of their past musical experiences. Abstract/modern music to some could be Bartok, while to others, modern begins with sampling underwater sea life in the Arctic, and setting it to music made by prepared toilet paper tubes (acting as flutes...prepared pianos are terribly old-fashioned). And of course, in comparing individual tolerance for more dissonant harmonies, we can remember that one man's Dunken Donuts coffee with six sugars and eight creams could satisfy his palate, while another needs a triple espresso, straight.

Thats my cue to go fire up the ol' espresso machine.

Cheers!
Dave
p.s. To Crusoe: feel free to pm anytime.
www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Thu, Oct 18 2018 17:48
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post
Hi Anand,

The funny thing is, one's perception of/reception to a piece of music begins with the totality of their past musical experiences. 

Cheers!
Dave

This is very true. Given I do research on medical imaging, I got excited yesterday wondering if it is posisble to record, in some way, the variations in perception of sound/tones/music among different people.  I am sure this has been done before. But I am even more sure that we understand very very little about how the human brain perceives music. 

But I do believe that years from now, you will be able to map, for example, the brains responses to music so sensitively that you can tell if a person is listening to a classical symphony vs  Jazz vs. Rock Pop, etc.,...i.e., we will be able to directly 'see' the level of complexity in the music as revealed by regions/extent of brain simulation.

off topic again...sorry.

Cheers

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Fri, Oct 19 2018 21:12
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473

Anand, no need to apologize for being off topic.  Discussions evolve and morph, often introducing new topics of discussion just as interesting and worthy as the original. 

Your research sounds fascinating.  I recall reading a book in my university days that attempted to scientifically break down the response to various harmonic progressions, intervals, melodies, rhythmic patterns, etc.  I seem to recall the author using the music of Tchaikovsky and The Backstreet Boys (or some other modern boy band) and insisting that it was essentially impossible not to like the music (in terms of the actual music, not in terms of disliking it due to social influences, lack of experience with the genre, etc.)  

Anyway, your research sounds like an extension of the way the marketing industry identifies different styles of music to encourage shoppers to spend more, or to target a certain age group, etc.  You should consider sharing more on your own thread, perhaps in the general discussion sub-forum.  I for one, would be interested!

Cheers, and thanks again for listening to my piece.

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Sun, Oct 21 2018 00:24
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5405

I agree and appreciate Anand's viewpoint a lot - he is very erudite with music, but also a scientist and that is a valuable point of view since the two are so related.  These "off-topic" posts are very interesting.  

Posted on Mon, Oct 22 2018 14:09
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 188

Hi Dave,

There is some haunting  music in this along with high drama. I guess it's no surprise to you that the music does not sound dissonant to me. Your usual story-telling rhetoric is in fine evidence and takes the listener on an adventure that they can invent as much as you dictate.

I'm not a fan of the space you have put the piano in - it feels just slightly too far away for me, but that's just my taste, perhaps that was intentional! I like the insistent final chord at the end, which although a resolution, feels tense and works well.

Posted on Tue, Oct 23 2018 12:08
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 473

Hi Mike,

Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and comment.  My perspective on the piece being received as too "out there" or dissonant was probably influenced by my recent lesson, in which I showed a young student a half-diminished chord and he said, "that sounds yucky".  lol  I can't imagine his reaction to playing a few tone clusters, or flutter tongued bass clarinet in the clarion register as I did in this piece (in fact, it would be fun to play this for him, but he'd probably not respond too well).

As for the piano, it's always a challenge getting a perfect balance of instruments on stage.  In this case, I did want it further back, as I wanted the percussive quality to be "absorbed" by the strings and bass clarinet.  You also mentioned the final chord, which is interesting, in that, by resolving it, I was trying to convey the success of the exorcism, but by having the clarinet swell through that final chord, I was also trying to convey tension and cast doubt that perhaps it wasn't.

All the best,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
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